Asia Shares Gain in Cautious Trade as U.S.-China Eyed

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On Tuesday, Asian shares increased with investors watchful as friction between China and the U.S. looks like on the rise following a series of tweets from U.S. president-elect Donald Trump on matters from the South China Sea to the exchange rate.

The Shanghai Composite Index edged up slightly, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index increase 0.75%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 increase 0.82% with strength in its materials sub-index, up 1.16%.

In Australia a narrower than perceived current account deficit was shrugged off as the Reserve Bank

of Australia held steady as anticipated at a record low 1.50% cash rate, while indicating concern over the Aussie’s strength.

In Japan, average cash gains increase 0.1, lower than the 0.2% increase seen year-on-year. Australia reported the 3rd quarter current account deficit came in at A$11.4 billion, smaller than the A$13.7 billion gap expected. The Nikkei 225 increase 0.51%.

On Tuesday, the yuan increase suddenly against the dollar after the People’s Bank of China set a much stronger fixing,  the largest percentage gain in the fixing in six months ,  following the decline in the . US dollar index overnight.

Suddenly on Monday, U.S. stocks were higher after the close, as gains in the Financials, Basic Materials and Technology sectors led shares higher.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.24% to hit a new all time peak, while the S&P 500 index  added 0.58%, and the NASDAQ Composite index  increased 1.01%.

On Additional News

On Tuesday, gold eased in Asia following an early round of bargain hunting as investors look further than the widely anticipated Fed rate hike this month for any new language on the pace of increases going forward.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gold drop 0.07% to $1,175.65 a troy ounce. Somewhere else in metals trading, delivery of silver for March on the Comex increase 0.08% to $16.913 a troy ounce, while  delivery of copper for March drop 0.45% to $2.682 a pound.

On Tuesday, crude oil prices decline in Asia with U.S. industry inventory estimates ahead expected to establish the tone.

Later on Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute will publish its estimates of crude oil and refined product stocks the previous week. On Wednesday, more closely-watched official figures from the U.S. Department of Energy are due.

Delivery of U.S. crude for January fell 0.98% to $51.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

Brent crude, the global oil price benchmark traded on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, was last quoted at $54.22 a barrel.

On the other hand, investors are watchful that all 14 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will follow to the production curbs.

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